Local notions of conservation deserve closer scrutiny. We cannot assume that they naturally coincide with those of the tourist core; nor that they are automatically given higher priority when local populations are induced to participate in practices which conserve flora and fauna. A case study of the establishment of the Richtersveld National Park in Namaqualand, a remote arid region of South Africa, is used to argue that local attitudes to conservation and development (associated with tourism) can become increasingly cynical and ambivalent in the context of ecotourism. Furthermore, such attitudes are shaped less by economic inducements than by the often contradictory messages about conservation that are being communicated daily.
Richtersveld South Africa conservation attitudes ecotourism